The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

As Cost-Saving Measure, Texas Prisons Cut Lunch On Weekends

The state of Texas already made waves in September when it decided to stop honoring death row inmates' final meal requests. The decision was prompted by the huge meal requested by white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Clinton Says U.S. Met With Haqqanis; Pushes Pakistan On Security

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks in Islamabad Friday, as Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar looks on. Clinton urged Pakistan to act swiftly to dislodge the militant Haqqani network.

Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in Pakistan to urge the country's leadership to eliminate safe havens for terrorists, says that U.S. officials met with the Haqqani network this summer. She did not say who the participants were, or what was discussed.

As the BBC reports:

Reports about such a meeting circulated over the summer but the US refused to confirm them at the time.

Mrs Clinton said the US had reached out to the Taliban and to the Haqqani network to test their sincerity and willingness to engage in a peace process.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Fri October 21, 2011

September Jobs Report: Little Changes For States

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 11:45 am

Unemployment rates across America didn't change much in September, says the Labor Department. But among the mostly small shifts that occurred, 25 states reported decreases in their unemployment rate. Of the remaining states, 14 saw a higher jobless rate, and 11 remained the same.

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Europe
10:45 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Hamilton's Lesson For Europe: Pay Your Debt

Because of Alexander Hamilton's insistence that the United States pay off its debt, investors came to see the nation as a stable place to do business, biographer Ron Chernow says.

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

This weekend, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Brussels with other European Union leaders. Their goal: to settle on a plan to pay the debts of struggling member nations.

Their meeting might go better if Alexander Hamilton's ghost could get a seat at the table.

Hamilton, one of the United States' Founding Fathers, was the fiscal genius who insisted that paying off debts of this union's member states would lead to economic greatness.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Obama To Address Iraq Troop Withdrawal

A few minutes ago, President Obama announced that the war in Iraq was over.

"After nearly nine years, the long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year," the president said. President Obama said he talked to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier today and they were both in complete agreement about how to proceed. Obama said that "as promised" by the end of the year all troops will withdraw from the country.

He said that this means the relationship between Iraq and the United States will now be a normal one between two sovereign countries.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Europe Sends Satellites Into Orbit Using Russian Rockets

In this handout image supplied by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Soyuz VS01 is prepared on the launch pad at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

ESA Getty Images

A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from French Guiana this morning. It was the first time one of them has blasted off outside its old Soviet Union bases.

It also marked a more important first: The rocket was carrying the first piece of Europe's Galileo global positioning system, which aims to provide more accurate information than the United States' GPS system.

The BBC reports:

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The Salt
10:19 am
Fri October 21, 2011

New Varieties Haven't Taken The Nutrition Out Of Broccoli

Newer varieties of broccoli may be prettier than the old ones, but they're probably no less nutritious.

Shullye Serhiy iStockphoto.com

Quick question: Are vegetables less nutritious than they used to be?

You're free to argue about this, because scientists haven't managed to come up with a clear answer.

There's some new data out this week in the journal Crop Science, and at least for broccoli, the answer seems to be no. But keep reading, because the story gets a little more complicated.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:11 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Don't Count On Facebook Boosting Your Brainpower Just Yet

If a high number of Facebook friends gives you a bigger brain, then CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seen here in Sept., must have one massive cortex.

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 10:43 am

A lot of people seem to be running wild with the idea that there is a direct, positive link between Facebook and the brain's grey matter.

I want to believe a study that suggested Facebook can enhance the size of key parts of your brain. Really I do.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Chinese Toddler Dies, Days After Being Hit By Vans And Ignored By Witnesses

An image from the Twitter-like Chinese site Weibo.com shows a composite image of the toddler's mother, Qu Feifei (left); her rescuer, Chen Xianmei (top right) and Wang Yue.

Weibo

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 10:20 am

In China, an "outpouring of grief" is meeting the sad news that a toddler has died after being struck by two vans on a crowded street in the city of Foshan, according to state-run media.

The story became a national — and then international — sensation after a security camera's video revealed that more than a dozen passers-by had ignored the injured Wang Yue, 2, as she lay in the street, crying.

Only Chen Xianmei, 57, who was in the area collecting garbage, pulled the girl to safety and called for help. Police reportedly have the drivers of both vans in custody.

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Business
9:00 am
Fri October 21, 2011

A Sigh Of Relief For A Rebounding Shopping Center

Claudine Dimitriou owns The Beach, a day spa in Phoenix. She was virtually alone in the shopping complex after investing $80,000 to open her business in December. The bet has finally paid off.

Peter O'Dowd for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 3:00 am

Last fall at troubled strip mall in Phoenix, a few brave business owners opened in a virtually empty complex called Bethany East during a decidedly bad economy. In March of this year, the center fell into foreclosure and new buyers stepped in. It's been a turbulent year on this corner, but things are finally looking up for the tenants.

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